Women in Islam

 Women in Islam don't get the same treatment as their western counterparts do and Islam's treatment of women has been a subject of immense controversy of late. Some feel that Islam's treatment of women is not really unfair or even that its the correct way to treat women (I've even heard a Muslim woman say that she wears the Hijab/Burqa to in fact protect men because obviously men are powerless against a woman's beauty) while others agree that Islam does treat women unfairly sometimes even inhumanly but they hold the Koran and the 'fundamentals of Islam' responsible for this. My belief is that yes women are treated unfairly in Islam but the reason for that is not the teachings of the Koran or even brainwashing by the Muslim clergy. It is in fact the conformist and gang mentality that permeates Islamic society today, more on this later. There are several verses in Islam where women are observed as being as lesser creatures than men for example: "men are in charge of women because Allah has made one of them (men) to excel the other (women), thus man's superiority over women... good women are the obedient ones... admonish the rebellious women and banish them, and scourge them (whip them severely to inflict pain) (4:34) OR Your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like.... (MAS Abdel Haleem, The Qur'an, Oxford UP, 2004) both of the above passages implying without ambiguity that Men are to be the masters of women and women are to be their slaves meant just for procreation and physical arousal. There are also passages where the Qur'an prescribes punishment for women who have strayed: If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great. (Haleem, emphasis added).
 On a side not, the people who say that these verses don't really say what they seem to say to everybody can be ignored as the Idiots they really are. These are the people who will say such lines as 'Islam is in fact a religion of peace" when clearly it isn't; verses like these amply make obvious this: "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him." (Hadith Al Buhkari vol. 9:57) Or Sura 5:51: OR "O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he among you that turns to them for friendship is of them." This friendship makes any Muslim an enemy of their own and deserving of the same fate as the unbeliever. This is because God does not guide an unjust people." This advises Muslims to be untrustworthy of Christians and Jews and to hate them. I hasten to add it was in fact similar sort of messages coming from the Church back in the day that made a lot of Christians go crusading. But I'll admit Christian society does not seem to be in a mood to go on crusades for a long time the way things are as of today.

Coming back to Islam, what perplexes me is that even though other major religions like Christianity infer lesser status on women, most Christian societies around the world don't dole out an unequal status to women today. In fact there some who joke laws have now become unfair to men and men are the new women.
But why do the western and other societies don't and Islamic societies do treat women unjustly? As this article about Islam's treatment of women points out, why demean women by saying that their testimony is half as worthy as a man's in court? Why does she (the daughter of a Muslim) inherit only half as much as a son? Why does Islam accept polygamy but then not accept polyandry? Why have Muslim Generals in the past sent 15000 rape victims to jail while freeing their rapists saying they ( the women who were raped) provoked the rapes in some way and charging them with fornication? Why have Muslim women been stoned to death for showing their faces? Why are so many Muslim women still kept covered from head to toe day and night? Why do Muslim women have virtually no political rights in half of the Islamic states?

The reason for all this is not the 'wrong interpretation of Islam' as so called Secularists and some Muslims would want us to believe. When billions of people interpret something the same way then there is no doubt as to the meaning of it. No the wrong interpretation of Islam is not the reason. The reason for all of this is simply the dogmatic and fanatic belief in the rhetoric that permeates the religion of Islam. Most people in the world today would laugh if you tried to say to them that when you have to wipe yourself with pebbles (after answering the call of nature) you must make use of an odd number and when you perform ablution you must snuff in his nose water and then clean it OR that the devil resides in your nose while you sleep. This does not mean that we're all Atheists, while many of us are repulsed by aspects of organized religion, we will believe in some form of a higher power that keeps watch over us.

In the case of Muslims however, you are met with militant opposition and threats of death even if you so much as murmur a disagreement with any tenets of Islam and publish it in a book. They react not unlike some college or even jail gangs who like criticism be it from within or from outside. No other society in the world does that. If you take a look at the recent death of Pakistani Politician Salman Taseer who spoke out against the draconian blasphemy laws of Pakistan as per which a Christian woman has been given the death penalty and what followed after his death, you'll see a glimpse of the true reason Muslims still soldier on with their barbaric beliefs of which their treatment to women is no small part. Salman Taseer was killed by one of his bodyguards Malik Mumtaz Qadri who shot him 26 times. What followed the killing was even more tragic, the extremists in Pakistan hailed the assassin as a hero while the so called 'moderate' and 'the elite' sections of society refused to condemn the killing or to speak out against the hailing of Qadri as a hero. This demonstrated the unwillingness and maybe even the incapability of an Islamic society to recognize something as being wrong which by all means is wrong for example, the Blasphemy laws of Pakistan. This is the reason Muslims it seems will never find the will to change their behavior. As I pointed out at the start of this post, most religions do have failings but in the west and even in many eastern religions, people are willing to joke about these things and recognize them as being wrong while in Islamic society anything mildly against Islam or its ways makes you the villain and the whole gang turns against you. Looking at this, it seems that their deplorable treatment to women will continue on for some time.